This week sees the launch of the first Steam Item Shops, a feature rolled out by Valve to allow third-party developers to open a storefront attached to their game's Steam page (pictured below) that sells in-game items for real money.
It's a comparatively minor update to the platform that, as Kotaku notes, may have some intriguing implications for the Steam in-game item economy because developers can now establish baseline prices for items that may otherwise see wild price fluctuations on Steam's long-running Community Market.
Moreover, this allows Steam developers to pull the work of Steam Workshop creators into their stores, selling items a user has created for a developer's game directly through the game's item store and sharing a portion of the profits with the creator.
"This new Item Store is designed to make it easy for developers to establish an in-game economy or to just sell individual cosmetic items, keys, or consumables," reads an announcement from Valve to Steam developers, as verified by Gamasutra. "It’s designed to easily integrate with a curated Workshop (similar to Team Fortress 2) so you can accept user-made items, use that data to create item definitions and prices in the Steam Inventory Service, and set those items for sale via the Item Store. Steam takes care of the checkout process, splitting payments to Workshop authors as appropriate, and adding the items to users’ inventories."